the nice guys reboot

In this week’s edition of “sure, we guess?” news, the moderately successful, mostly forgotten Shane Black noir comedy The Nice Guys is getting the TV reboot that no one was really asking for — but with a genderbent twist.

The Nice Guys is now The Nice Girls, a female-led TV reboot of the ’70s-set profane buddy-comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. While buddy-comedies are a dime a dozen on TV — we even got a Lethal Weapon TV version recently — the news is eyebrow-raising particularly because the movie came out only last year, only to meet mostly positive reviews but an apathetic box office. So it’s curious why this particular property would be chosen for a female-led reboot.

The Nice Guys reboot has been picked up by Fox and will be written by Michael Diliberti, who wrote 30 Minutes or Less, according to Deadline. Although the 2016 black comedy was set in the 1970s, The Nice Girls is described as a “one-hour contemporary female take” on the feature film, which was produced by frequent Black collaborator Joel Silver.

Joel Silver is the figure behind this TV reboot. He and Rodney Ferrell, from his studio Silver Pictures Television, are executive producing the series, which is helming the project as part of a first-look deal at Lionsgate TV.

This is not the first time a feature film has been adapted into a primetime procedural series, with movies like Limitless, Frequency, Taken, Training Day, Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour, and Minority Report, making the leap from the big to small screen. Indeed many of these reboots have had modern makeovers, receiving leads of color or female leads, such as Minority Report or Frequency.

It’s just the premise of The Nice Guys seems far too insular — and to be honest, convoluted — to make for an episodic TV show. As much as I enjoyed the profanity and violence-laced noirish romp, the movie was steeped in casual misogyny that the protagonists engaged in. And when it makes the transition to TV, there’s no doubt it will be a wholly different story in a “contemporary” setting. Why not just create a new story centered on female leads? Other than the catchy name, it doesn’t seem worth the effort to adapt.

Here’s the synopsis for the original The Nice Guys:

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a down-on-his-luck private eye in 1977 Los Angeles. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hired enforcer who hurts people for a living. Fate turns them into unlikely partners after a young woman named Amelia (Margaret Qualley) mysteriously disappears. Healy and March soon learn the hard way that some dangerous people are also looking for Amelia. Their investigation takes them to dark places as anyone else who gets involved in the case seems to wind up dead.

While I’m all for more female-led TV shows, this news only elicits a somewhat perplexed response from me. The film was a riotous black comedy that tapped into the latent comedic potential of its charismatic stars but seems an odd choice for a TV reboot. Maybe my mind will be changed whenever its first trailers roll around.

What do you think of The Nice Girls?

Cool Posts From Around the Web: